Saturday, August 27, 2011

Currently Reading: Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon

I am currently reading Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon. This is the 1st book in a series to follow up the Deeds of Paksenarrion series. Book 2 is Kings of the North and book 3, Echoes of Betrayal: Paladin's Legacy, will be coming February 21, 2012. This is such a great series and a fantastic cast of characters. The story is exciting and gripping and the characters make you want to really get to know them. 

It's been awhile since I last read about Paks and her trials and yet after only a few sentences I'm right back in the thick of things, re-acquainting myself with familiar faces.  This particular story picks up right after Kieri Phelan is acknowledged as King of Lyonya and has just made his trip to Lyonya to take up his crown.  Arcolin had been left to watch the keep and guard the borders.  He was not expecting the message that comes telling of Kieri's birthright and asking him to take over the Dukedom.  Nor was he expecting the intrigue he found when he went to Prince Mikeli to seek permission to take a contract in the south to keep the money flowing to support the Dukedom as they had when Kieri was in charge.
Someone wants Prince Mikeli dead.  The Verrakaien are openly defying their Prince, using forbidden mage power and treason is in the air. 

This story grabbed my attention from the first page and so far is just as exciting as the first books in Paksennarion's series.  I'm really looking forward to the other two books.  Kings of the North is in my cart at Amazon and Echoes of Betrayal is on pre-order.  Now back to reading!!

Falling for Grace by Maddie James

I finished Falling for Grace by Maddie James and gave it 4 stars. This was a fun read.  Grace has spent the last 10 years building up her store, Romantically Yours. She has a wonderful group of friends but she's still alone and not really looking to end that any time soon.  She'd loved once and life took a twist that shattered her dreams, both for the love she had so unexpectedly found and the ballet she had spent her entire life working for.  She ran away from her previous world and now she's very content with the new life she's built. She needs some extra money coming in and someone has just shown some interest in the other half of her building.  Carson Price is a man in need of a change.  With his 6 yr old daughter Izzie he's ready to give up his law practice that keeps him away from his daughter and start new.  He stumbled across Graces' building and it's exactly what he needs to start fresh.  What he doesn't need is a beautiful landlady who captures Izzie's heart and makes him begin to feel again when that is the last thing he wants to do.  Where Grace ran from her life, Carter is running to a new life.  When their paths cross nothing seems to work the way they expect.  Will Grace run again or will Izzie manage to break the ice surround the heart she's kept walled up for over 10 years.  Can Carson open his heart again or will his past experience sour him against what both he and Izzie need most. 
This is a wonderful story, funny and tender and it keeps you going right from the start.

Life Is But A Dream by Cheryl Shireman

I finished Life is But a Dream by Cheryl Shireman & gave it 4 stars. Great story, awesome characters!  What do you do when everything you know is suddenly torn from under you and the people you built your life around suddenly don't need you any more?  This is the situation that Grace Adams finds herself in when her daughter sets off to college and husband suddenly distances himself from her and leaves her floundering in uncertainty and self doubt.  This is a story of self discovery and re-awakening. 
This is an awesome story told from Grace's point of view that tells of loss and despair and a rediscovery of herself, finding a strength she didn't realize she had.  Excellent story, fantastic characters and very moving and believable story.   

Angels and Manners by Cynn Chadwick

I finished Angels and Manners by Cynn Chadwick and gave it 4 stars.  This was a very good read.  Two women from very different backgrounds and with very different outlooks on life fight to provide for their children and themselves in Section 8 housing following divorces that tore their entire lives out from under them.  Carrie Angel thought she'd be in and out of Section 8 in as little time as possible.  Several years later she's still there and fighting to get her Master Carpenter's license.  Jen Manners has never had to do for herself and suddenly finds herself without a house, without a job and with no idea what to do next.  A chance encounter in Social Services with Carrie helps her get her feet under her again.  Two very unlikely friends who manage to help each other get what they both want and need.  A new beginning.  Excellent characters, well developed story  make this a compelling read.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Cottage by Gerri Hill

I finished The Cottage by Gerri Hill last night and gave it 4 stars.  It is an excellent read. Very emotional, very sweet & heartbreaking at the same time.  I generally don't like to read stories like this but this one was a great read.  Then ending had tears streaming down my face.  I loved the characters.  They came to life and it was such a sweet story.  Two women, Jill Richardson & Carrie Howell meet by chance at the park.  Both are married and have children and both are disillusioned with their marriages.  They strike up a conversation that builds into a deep friendship.  They find something in each other that is missing in their lives.  Will their friendship be enough to satisfy the emptiness in their lives?
This is a wonderful story and you can get the print version at Amazon.com and the e-version is available at http://www.bellabooks.com

Check out Gerri's site and see the rest of her books: http://www.gerrihill.com/books.html


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love Waits by Gerri Hill

I just finished Love Waits by Gerri Hill and it was such a great story.  Ashley Pence and Gina Granbury were high school sweethearts and first loves.  Ashley had it all, she was beautiful, well-to-do and a member of the cool crowd in school.  Gina was tall, thin and knew that to get into college she desperately needed a scholarship.  Good thing she was one heck of a basketball player!  An unlikely match that blossomed into a love so strong and deep.  But no one knew.  That just wasn't in the cards.  They made it through high school and into college and there, it all blew up.  Now, twenty years later, Ashley is a lawyer and Gina, a graphic artist.  On the 20 year high school reunion they finally come face to face again.  Each of them harboring hard feelings and a hurt that just won't let them be. 

This story is told in flashbacks and while I don't normally like a story like that, this one was so fascinating that I couldn't put it down.  You get to see the building of a friendship & love from the first tentative touches through the first bloom of true love while at the same time seeing the aftermath of a breakup that shouldn't have happened.  Both of them are so traumatized by this they go through their lives searching for that special someone but at the same time walling themselves away from anything that might be able to ease their hurt.  Can they find that special something, that spark again or will the pain and mistrust of 20 years keep them apart.

You can't help but ache for them.  Looking in from the outside it is so easy to see how they refuse to allow themselves to heal.  This is a wonderful, touching story and a great read.  I highly recommend it.

You can find the e-book version at Bella Books.  http://www.bellabooks.com/

Love's Abiding Spirit by Syd Parker

Sunday I finished Love's Abiding Spirit by Syd Parker.  This was a very lovely book.  An excellent story with a bit of history thrown in and fantastic characters.  Soren Lockheart lost her child when her love and the mother of little Olivia decides she doesn't want her daughter to be brought up in a lesbian relationship.  Devastated and denied even the small comfort of seeing their daughter she loses all drive and hasn't touched her guitar or written a song in the two years since their divorce.  Her agent invites her to spend time with her in her vacation home in Georgia.  In a crazy move Soren puts a bid in on an old Georgia house and packs her bags moving away from all her pain and trying start fresh.  The house definitely needs some TLC and the contractor that shows up at her door stirs emotions that Soren had long thought buried too deep to see daylight ever again.  Merritt Tanner has her own demons to live with and yet she cannot deny the attraction she feels the moment she sets eyes on Soren.  To top it off Soren feels she's not alone in the house.  The spirit of the original owner's daughter is still there and pushing Soren to dig deeper into the history of both the house and the young woman who lived there. 

This is a wonderful story and I gave it 4 stars.  Excellent characters and a great feel for their lives, their emotions and their heartbreak makes this a great read.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Immediate Possession by Syd Parker

Just finished Immediate Possession by Syd Parker.  This is the 2nd book of hers that I have read and again I was very happy with the story.  In this story Reagan is in real estate, owns her own company but hasn't had much luck in the personal relationship department.  She hires a new sales person and has an immediate attraction to her but ... she's straight and has a boyfriend.  She ends up falling for her when the woman comes on to her and then having her heart stepped on and dumped in the process.  She swears off any woman not definitely on her team and positively single.  Darcy is a beautiful young woman in a bad relationship, a fiance she doesn't love and she doesn't have the strength to get out of it.  A chance meeting at a bar throws these two women together.  Reagan knows Darcy is bad news but just can't quite manage to pull away.  Darcy feels an attraction to Reagan she doesn't know what to do with but it beats anything she's felt with anyone else.  A chance meeting, a quick kiss and a hasty retreat has both women wondering and confused.  Then Reagan's friend asks her to help out a college mate who wants to buy a house and sell the one his fiance currently has.  For a friend Reagan agrees and then finds out that the house she's to sell belongs to none other than Darcy.  The ups & downs, the fears and hurt that these women go through trying to avoid the feelings they have for each other makes for a really good story.  I gave it 4 stars.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Secrets of the Heart by Syd Parker

I finished reading Secrets of the Heart by Syd Parker this morning.  It was a very good read! I love the characters and the interplay between Jude & Chase was absolutely great.  The characters were strong and very believable.  The story was intriguing and kept me wanting to know what happened next.  This is the story of Chase, airplane pilot who all in the space of a few days loses her boyfriend, job & best friend.  Tessa who had everything she ever wanted for too short a time and lost it all in the blink of an eye. Jude, lawyer, self-made woman who refused to let anyone get too close.  Love 'em, leave 'em and on to the next.  This is also a story of family and how sometimes family is much more than those you were born to.  A great story with fascinating characters and the wonderful up & down roller coaster ride of emotions that truly makes it a great read.  I gave Secrets of the Heart 4 stars and I recommend it to anyone looking for a really great story of love & determination to keep moving on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kara's Moon by Gerri Hill

I visited Gerri Hill's web site last night and discovered a series of short stories in her free read Fiction section.  Wow ... these were all absolutly great reads.  The Zeiko Place was an eerie but very cool story.  Young love, misunderstanding, heart break and years lost.  This was a very interesting read.

Romance Or Something Like It was funny and absolutely great to read. What some people go through to get what they want and need.

The Eve, that was good. I loved the twists in that one and the characters were good and solid.

My favorite though was Kara's Moon. That story was gripping, touching, it had me laughing and had tears running down my face at the end. The characters were fascinating, the story compelling and what an emotional roller coaster.

I really enjoyed reading all of them.  You really should take the time and visit Gerri's site.  You won't be disappointed.

http://www.gerrihill.com/fiction.html

Never Ending by Marianne K. Martin

I finished reading Never Ending by Marianne K. Martin yesterday and gave it 4 stars.  It was an  excellent read and I truly enjoyed it.  Sage Bristo is a very strong character and the story was one that hooked you from the start and made you want to keep reading to find out more!  Stuck between the proverbial rock & hard place, Sage Bristo has to put her priorities in order.  Love, life, family & tradition ... each of these has a place but will she have to sacrifice love to get everything else to work?
Excellent characters, wonderful story and a great read.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paradise by Kate Sweeney

I finished Paradise by Kate Sweeney and I gave it 4 stars. It was an excellent read. It captured my attention from the beginning and it kept drawing me in deeper as I went along.  The characters were few, the detail was excellent and each one pulled you further into the tale. 

Paradise is a story of "What if ..."  Began in the early 1950's it takes the discovery of DNA and uses it to ask "What if ... they tried to create a superior person based on DNA splicing, isolation and deep training."  There are many twists and turns to this story and of course the government is involved.  The best laid plans always manage to backfire on those trying to control them. 

This is the story of Graham Sheridan & Genevieve Gastineau.  Two very different women who fulfill a need in each other that transcends logic. 

Calm and lonely intellectual Graham Sheridan lives alone at the top of a mountain seemingly content to live her life in isolation. 

Genevieve Gastineau is fiery red-head, reporting for a small town paper and living a somewhat frustrated life with an in-and-out,  self-centered girl friend.  She gets a tip about a woman living alone at the top of a mountain for the past 20 years and sees a chance to re-start her reporting career. 

What happens when these two get together is what makes this story so much fun to read.  I highly recommend this story.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

By The Howling (Charlotte Diamond Mysteries) by Olivia Stowe

Finished reading By the Howling by Olivia Stowe.  It was a fun, interesting read but I found it too short, and devoid of details that would have made it a much better read.  The characters were interesting but too much was left out to really pull them into focus.  Charlotte & Brenda, and even Brenda left so much in question, came in nicely but the others were too threadbare to really make an impression.  I kept having to try and remember who was who and it was rather annoying. 

As I said the story was good but not really fleshed out enough.  The characters were too thin, very little back ground and what there was wasn't enough to really make them real. 

I also have the 2nd & 3rd book of the series (at $2.99 & $0.99 they're hard to resist) and I hope it gets better and adds a bit more detail as it goes on. 

No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I read No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon the other day and it was fantastic.  I really enjoy her Dark-Hunter/Dream-Hunter series.  I've been reading these books off and on for years and they have always grabbed my attention right from the beginning.  I love a good series.  I enjoy coming back to familiar faces & places and meeting new characters that expand and compliment the others.  I didn't read this series in order.  I hopped from one to the next as I found a book.  Being overseas a lot made picking up a series some what of a challenge at times.  This one managed to stick with me. 

No Mercy is the 15th book in the series.  This is the story of Dev & Sam.  According to the summary on Sherrilyn Kenyon's web site:

No Mercy – Summary

Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.



The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.


These are two wonderful and exciting characters.  The depth of their losses and the pain they carry creates deepand painful lines in the fight to find something good in their lives.  They need each other more than they realize and yet fight the attraction with everything they have in order to spare the other more pain.  But love refuses to be held at bay and eventually nothing can stop the need and desire they have for each other.  Not even the possible end of the world.

Awesome reading!

Here's a link to all of the Dark-Hunter books in reading order.  Enjoy!!

http://www.officialsanctuary.com/dark-hunters/

A Quick Bite (w/bonus material) by Lynsay Sands

Finished A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands.  This isn't the first time I've read this book.  Actually it's about the the 4th or 5th time.  I really enjoy reading the Argeneau series. The characters are funny, real and about as diverse as you can imagine.  The stories are fun to read, exciting and intense in their own way and can carry you along with them from the first page.  There are 15 books and several short stories in this series and each one has made me laugh & cry and care about this crazy family.  Its fun getting to know all the characters and being able to go along with them as they grow and change and develop. 

I highly recommend this series and this book A Quick Bite is actually the first in the series. Lissiana and Greg are just so likeable and fun.  Their attraction is almost immediate and the things they go through trying to protect each other while not admitting to any feelings is endearing and at time comical. 

Here's a link to Lynsay Sands site and her Argeneau series.  I hope you can enjoy this series as much as I have.

http://www.lynsaysands.net/books/index.html#argeneau

A Bite Before Christmas is coming in November in an anthology with Jeaniene Frost and then in January 2012 comes Under a Vampie Moon.  I can't wait to get my hands on these! 

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Retribution (A Dark Hunter Novel) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I finished reading Retribution (A Dark-Hunter Novel) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and I gave it 5 stars.  I really enjoy this series and the characters are always so strong yet vulnerable.  In this one we get a good look at William Jessup "Sundown" Brady and his love for Matilda Aponi (Abigail in the latest re-incarnation of spirit).  A timeless love that followed the spirits of three people down times endless road, re-incarnation to re-incarnation.  Each one growin, changing and building on the past. Also in this one I really liked hearing the Native American histories and legends.  That is always fascinating and Sherrilyn Kenyon had done a wonderful job in tying those into this latest nove.  The is a great story that I truly enjoyed and I can highly recommend.

If you've never read any of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter/Dream-Hunter series I suggest you start at the beginning with Fantasy Lover and work your way through.  Once you start it will be very hard to stop!

Finished "Mill River Recluse" by Darcie Chan

I finished Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan on Friday.  It was a good read and everything really pulled together at the end tying things up nicely.  Well worth the time to read and not what I would term a standard romance. It covered close to 60 years and there was mystery and romance and small town interactions enough to really keep you on your toes.  I gave it 4 stars. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Currently Reading

Currently I'm reading "The Mill River Recluse" by Darcie Chan.  It's an interesting read bouncing back and forth between what is now and what was.  I'm about a quarter of the way through this and the story is good.  There's quite a few characters to get to know and each one gets touched on a bit at the start.  It gets a bit jumbled at first but it begins to come together as you get into it.  So far I really like it and the characters are growing on me.  It's becoming a good read and for only $0.99.

Here's what the Product Description from Amazon says:


Product Description


Disfigured by the blow of an abusive husband, and suffering her entire life with severe social anxiety disorder, the widow Mary McAllister spends almost sixty years secluded in a white marble mansion overlooking the town of Mill River, Vermont. Her links to the outside world are few: the mail, the media, an elderly priest with a guilty habit of pilfering spoons, and a bedroom window with a view of the town below.

Most longtime residents of Mill River consider the marble house and its occupant peculiar, though insignificant, fixtures. An arsonist, a covetous nurse, and the endearing village idiot are among the few who have ever seen Mary. Newcomers to Mill River--a police officer and his daughter and a new fourth grade teacher--are also curious about the reclusive old woman. But only Father Michael O’Brien knows Mary and the secret she keeps--one that, once revealed, will change all of their lives forever.

Midnight Embrace by Amanda Ashley

I finished Midnight Embrace by Amanda Ashley on the 1st of August.  I was a fun read but was very slow to start for me.  I was about 1/3 the way in before it actually grabbed my attention.  The characters were good, the story interesting & I gave it 4 stars. Normally her books grab my interest right from the start but this one just seemed to start out slow.  There was enough there to keep me reading but there wasn't anything at the start to make me "want" to get back to it once I put it down. Now this could just have been me.  This was a period piece and that is an unusual read for me.  Normally the characters grab me and drag me in making me want to know more right from the start.  This one took more time for the characters to develop enough to make them interesting enough for me to really want to know more about them. 
It turned into a very nice read and I did enjoy it very much.  I'm glad I kept going.

www.amazon.com
ANALISA...He whispers her name, and it echoes back to him on the wings of the night. She is so young, so alive. She radiates warmth and goodness, chasing the coldness from his being, banishing the loneliness from his soul. In four centuries of prowling, th...e shadows have brought him few pleasures, but the nearness of her soft lips, her warm throat, promise sweetness beyond imagining. She has wandered unchaperoned to the moonlit tomb where he takes refuge by day, little suspecting that with his eyes alone he can mesmerize her, compel her to do his bidding. Yet he will not take her life's blood by force or trickery. He will have it as a gift, freely given, and in exchange, he will make her wild .... see more at amazon.com.